Hard to believe a year has passed since I launched my author webpage and blog. As a proud Canadian, I chose Canada Day. So on this sesquicentennial celebration, it’s only fitting that I address an issue that rankles and embarrasses me as a Canadian. Is it just me, or do you want to shake the bejesus out of those people who have their shorts in a knot over the Canada 150 logo? Okay, admittedly my reaction is a little un-Canadian, but surely I can at least shake my head at them in dismay.
I’ve heard two streams of complaint about the logo, both of which are irritating. The first is the grumbling that ‘this is not my flag’ and that somehow the logo is an affront to everything our forebears fought for. What?! The celebratory logo isn’t replacing our flag. The traditional red and white that we know and love is still here, is still the official flag, and will still be flying proudly for years to come. This 150th anniversary logo will become part of Canada’s history. So either grab a piece of that history now or don’t – but for the love of all that is good in this world, please quit griping about it. Because we all know what really underlies the snarking – and it isn’t pretty. While most of the moaners aren’t saying it aloud, let’s address the real elephant in the room … that behind the griping is really a wasp-nest of closet homophobic sentiment. People assume that the multi-coloured maple leaf is a secret Pride icon. That somehow the introduction and acceptance of a colourful national emblem is an insidious LGBTQ plot designed to convert and/or recruit the heterosexual community. Good grief. Get over yourself! If you’re that insecure about your sexuality, a new logo is the least of your worries.
For the record, the logo designer says “the repeated shape is meant to create a sense of unity and the 13 shapes forming the leaf represents our togetherness as a country”. (How ironic.) Four foundational diamonds signify the Confederation-founding provinces of Canada with nine additional points filling out our iconic national symbol and capturing all 13 provinces and territories. What’s not to love? ‘Celebratory gems’, make up our distinctly Canadian maple leaf motif, fostering national pride and unity. Yes, I said ‘pride’. And frankly, if it also indirectly gives a shout out to the LGBTQ community, all the better. More power to the logo. Because when did Canada become so intolerant? Haven’t we always prided ourselves as the more progressive northern sister to the U.S. and turned our noses up at their perceived political small-mindedness?
Which brings me to the second galling point. The internet was rife with people bemoaning that Justin Trudeau had betrayed our nationhood by introducing this ‘offending’ new image. Really? Much like the U.S. Republicans trying to blame the Obama administration for failing to act on the very issues they were responsible for blocking, get your facts straight. I’ve got news for you. It wasn’t Trudeau that introduced the new logo, but Harper. A national design contest, sponsored by the Harper government, invited Canadian students to take a stab at creating the official logo for Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations. And while I’m no fan of Harper, I’ll give credit where it’s due – it was an inspired idea. And while I’m not a Liberal either, I give kudos to Trudeau for inspiring national pride more than I’ve seen in years. The logo is even free to the public to use. Again, what’s not to like?
So maybe on this special day of celebration, recognizing 150 years since Canada’s Confederation, we can embrace this anniversary logo, and each other, looking forward to another 150 years to advance our tolerance and make this great nation the best it can be. Happy Canada Day!